Category Archives: recipes

5 Back-to-School Dessert Recipes for Kids

The end of August marks back-to-school time in Delaware. And the thought of a new year may be met with excitement…or groans. But no matter how your family feels about the end of summer, the best way to earn a smile is with a sweet treat.

If you’re looking for delicious dessert recipes for kids, I have lots of ideas you can make at home. Cooking with your kids will get them excited about their what’s in their lunch box—especially when it includes dessert.

My favorite back-to-school recipes for kids have something for everyone, from gluten-free options to all-out decadence. Get in the kitchen and try something new.

Try These Indulgent Dessert Recipes for Kids

Healthy Rice Krispie Treats
A modern twist on a timeless snack, these Rice Krispie treats from Running with Spoons nix the sugary marshmallows in favor of brown rice syrup or honey (you decide). The recipe also contains almond butter, so you can get a bit of protein with every bite. Top it off with a drizzle of melted chocolate for a stunning presentation!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Who wouldn’t love to find a peanut butter-filled chocolate cookie sandwich in their lunch box? Easy to make (and fun to eat) these whoopie pies from Elana’s Pantry are sure be a winner with your kids. The cherry on top? They’re gluten- and dairy-free. But don’t worry; no one will know the difference!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Everyone needs a classic cookie recipe—and this one from Ina Garten fits the bill. Full of chocolate chunks and walnuts, it packs some serious flavor and texture. Be sure to serve your warm cookies with glasses of cold milk for dunking!

Lemon Bars
If you’re looking for non-chocolate dessert recipes for kids, try these easy lemon bars from Dinner Then Dessert. The sweet-tart combo is both refreshing and elegant. Pack ‘em up for lunch. Or, bring them to the school bake sale for an easy A.

Cook with Chef Bianca
Want to learn how to make even more amazing recipes for kids (and adults) under the guidance of a professional chef? About the Table offers customizable cooking classes. Contact us for details or to book us for a class.

Deconstructed Food: It’s Not Just for Chipotle Anymore

What’s in your meal?

No really—what’s actually in your meal? Have you read the ingredient labels on everything you’re eating? Do you know exactly what you’re putting into your body 3+ times per day?

Undesirable ingredients like sugar, preservatives and unhealthy fats often hide in the most unexpected products, including condiments, canned foods and snacks. Perhaps you didn’t know how frequently you consume small amounts of refined sugar and preservatives. But add it all up, and you may realize even “healthy” products aren’t exactly what they seem.

In response to growing concern about meal quality, many restaurants and food companies are starting to take a deconstructed food approach to their menu. Following Chipotle’s “build-your-own burrito” precedent, many other restaurants now offer their customers the chance to see each ingredient side-by-side before making a decision. Greater ingredient transparency means greater trust in the company’s offerings.

The Deconstruction Advantage

At About the Table, we like the build-your-own idea not just because it offers more choices, but because it allows you to consider each ingredient before adding it to your meal. If you know gluten and dairy present digestive problems for you, you can skip the cheese and tortilla and substitute guacamole and rice instead. You can ask questions about each ingredient—we’re always happy to talk food!

Building your own meal also encourages you to experiment with different flavor combinations and become a more adventurous eater. Knowing any choice you make will be a delicious one, you can feel comfortable diving headfirst into the array of spices, flavors and textures.

Bring It Home

Deconstruction isn’t just for restaurants, either. At home, you can recreate the experience by setting out different ingredients and letting everyone in the family build their own meal. For kids, this lets them try new foods and makes them feel like they’ve participated in making dinner.

Need ideas? Try Egg Roll in a Bowl with different sautéed veggies, ground pork, rice and sauces like tamari. For a fun dessert option, give Ina Garten’s Strawberry Shortcakes Deconstructed a whirl. Mexican, Greek and Italian food themes also work well.

Add Build-Your-Own Options

About the Table specializes in customized menus that appeal to all palates and ages. Ask us to add deconstructed food options to your meal service and start broadening your culinary horizons—while knowing every ingredient is a healthy, whole-food choice. Contact us to get started with personal chef services.

New Ways to Enjoy Coffee (That Don’t Involve Sipping!)

Coffee is the latest trend in the food and beverage industry, and there are new and brilliant coffee recipes popping up every day. Millennials are driving demand for more innovative ways to consume their cup of joe, including cold brew and Bulletproof. But you can also enjoy coffee as a delicious ingredient in your summer dishes. From meat rubs to dessert sauces, coffee isn’t just for drinking anymore!

Coffee in Its Natural State

Most high-quality coffee comes from the C. arabica variety of coffee bean. The green coffee beans are contained in small red coffee berries and roasted after harvesting to attain their rich brown color. Because most coffee contains chemical residues from pesticides, organic coffee is worth purchasing if you consume it every day.

Coffee’s Health Benefits

The health benefits of coffee and caffeine are vast, but here are a few of the highlights:

• May reduce the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and high blood pressure
• Improves physical performance, memory and mental alertness
• Stimulates digestion and weight loss

Our Favorite Coffee Recipes

If you’ve never tried coffee as a food addition, it’s time to change that! A few of our preferred ways to incorporate coffee include:

Coffee bean flour: Use coffee bean flour to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your baked goods! Coffee flour can be substituted for up to 15% of flour in most recipes, but keep in mind you’ll need to add 10-25% more liquid as well.
Light roast coffee rub for roast beef or pork tenderloin: Combine ground light roast beans with salt, pepper and your spices of choice (we recommend chili powder and paprika), then rub to cover the outside of a roast and cook as you normally would. This makes a great option for summer grilling!
Mocha sauce: Warm a cup of brewed dark roast coffee on the stove and stir in baking chocolate, butter and sugar until the chocolate has dissolved. You’ll have a lovely mocha sauce to drizzle on top of whipped cream, cakes or fruit.
Espresso vinaigrette: This one is super simple—just add red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey and instant espresso to a dressing cruet and shake thoroughly. Try it on a breakfast salad with bacon, eggs and avocado, or on this grilled green salad from Bon Appetit.

Keep the Caffeine Buzz Going

Request coffee recipes as part of your event menu with our catering services. Coffee-inspired dishes are always a hit with party guests (hint: you MUST try our triple chocolate espresso brownies!). Contact us to book your next gathering.


Jameson Bread Pudding: An Irish Dessert to Share

Every holiday has its traditional foods and desserts that you only find yourself indulging in once a year. St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. From the corned beef and cabbage to the whiskey-laden sweets, hosting a special St. Patrick’s Day feast is the perfect excuse to get family and friends together to say “Sláinte!”

Whenever I prepare food for an intimate dinner or party, I like to put a unique spin on classic dishes to wow my guests. I adapted this bread pudding recipe from one of my culinary school textbooks to make it reminiscent of Irish soda bread.

To achieve a festive flavor profile, I start by layering thick slices of challah. Challah is a rich, braided bread that’s already a little sweet. I sprinkle in plump raisins and prepare a simple custard mixture. Then, I spike it! Naturally, an Irish dessert recipe wouldn’t be complete without a little Jameson Irish whiskey.

The result is a decadent, family-style dessert that you can serve straight from the oven. Top with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or fruit puree. Of course, you’ll want to pair it with snifters of Jameson whiskey or Irish coffees!

Whether it’s for a large gathering or a table full of close-knit family and friends, enjoy passing around and sharing this delicious Irish dessert on St. Patrick’s Day (or any day)!

Jameson Bread Pudding
Serves 8-10
¾ cup golden raisins
4 oz. Jameson Irish whiskey, divided
1 lb. challah bread, sliced in half lengthwise, then into ½-inch thick slices
1 stick butter, melted, plus more for greasing
9 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1¼ quarts milk
Ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 13″x9″ glass baking dish.
2. In a small bowl, soak the raisins in 2 oz. of the whiskey for up to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Brush both sides of each piece of bread with melted butter. Arrange the bread slices so they overlap in the baking dish, sprinkling the raisins between the layers of bread.
4. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and remaining 2 oz. of whiskey until thoroughly combined. Add the milk and whisk to combine.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or longer, so the bread absorbs the egg mixture. If necessary, push the bread down into the pan once or twice after the mixture has had time to stand.
6. When ready, sprinkle the top lightly with cinnamon and nutmeg.
7. Set the pan into a large pan filled with approximately 1 inch of hot water, creating a hot water bath. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour, until set.
8. Serve warm or cold with caramel sauce, whipped cream, ice cream, fruit puree or confectioner’s sugar.

About the Table is ready to host your next gathering. From anniversaries and birthdays to Mother’s Day and graduation day, About the Table designs customized menus (featuring hors d’oeuvres, entrees, side dishes and desserts) for all your special occasions. Contact us to learn more about our catering services.